A radically different wet-process coffee from Indonesia. Bright, dynamic, very aromatic, floral, herbal, with slight piney resinous aroma and flavor hints. City+ roast is recommended, FC+ if you want tangy chocolate roast taste.
Wet-process coffees from Sumatra or Sulawesi are rare. There are other Indonesia islands (Java, Timor, Flores) and sources farther up the island arc (Papua New Guinea) that do wet-processing. But Sumatra and Sulawesi are known for the Giling Basah (Wet-hulled) process that results in the heavy body, low acid cup profile tasters associate with the reason. Giling Basah is an example of flavors from processing having a huge bearing on the cup flavors. Previous examples of wet-process Sumatra showed that when you lift that veil of "process flavor", there was little origin character, be it from the cultivar, the altitude, the micro-climate, or anything else, to speak of ... in other words, the coffee was incredibly boring. For those who dislike process flavors this always poses a problem; how to avoid off flavors from funky fermentation methods, or earthiness from the fact that, in Sulawesi and Sumatra, green coffee is dried directly on the ground with no protective shell or skin. So the question always in the back of my mind was this: are these inferior coffees that are being "flavored" by processing, something we would not accept from any other origin. If we lift that veil of flavoring, would there indeed be a cup "signifying nothing." Well, to stand as clear proof that fear is unfounded, we offer a totally unconventional, fully washed (wet-process) coffee from a long-established operation in Sulawesi. It's a unique flavor, and proves the potential of Sulawesi coffee: Strip off the overlaying process flavor, and it soars! Clean, bright, sweet; things that only come with good handling, good altitude, and good cultivar. While it may be a flavor profile one expects from Guatemala, not Sulawesi, it might also prove to those who don't like the earthy funk of Indonesia coffee that they CAN find something extraordinary from this part of the world.I have visited twice, with the most recent trip a rewarding journey to the small producers in the far north valleys who grow the best coffee. While this an unusual Sulawesi cup, it still has flavors that relate to other coffees of the region. This is the first Peaberry arrival of the new crop.
The dry fragrance is potent, with dynamic sweetness (Muscovado raw sugar) and flowery brightness. In the wet aroma, there are candy-like floral and fruit notes, with a hint of foresty character and pine, a hint of its Indonesian origin. In the cup, the clean and sweet character is so unique for this origin. The body is moderate, certainly less than the wet-hulled Sulawesi coffees, but suggestions of pine/juniper resinous flavors give an Indonesian twist to a profile that might otherwise be Guatemalan. While bright and dynamic, it has a softer side too, characterized by the floral notes and balance. As it cools the coffee rounds out, has more body, and greater intensity, and greater sweetness. The finish balances between the floral, sweet and the foresty character I mentioned before. This peaberry preparation is very good, with a couple mild quakers (from immature fruit) per batch.